Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/04/19/twitter_unfollower_app_nonsense/

Rogue Twitter counter app punts survey scam

#duhhhh

By John Leyden

Posted in Security, 19th April 2011 14:12 GMT

A rogue application ultimately designed to punt a survey scam began spreading rapidly on Twitter on Tuesday.

Follow Finder 332 promises to provide users with information on who might have "unfollowed" them (unsubscribed from their Twitter feed). In reality it does nothing but offer up a worthless survey that falsely promises lavish prizes for completing a questionnaire, earning the originators of the scam money in the process from unscrupulous marketing firms.

Scams of this type have been endemic on Facebook for years but are now moving onto Twitter. This particular scam uses hashtags featuring trending terms, a tactic designed to give scam messages from victims maximum exposure by reaching not only their friends but anyone following hot topics of conversation.

A full write-up of the scam can be found in a blog post by Sophos here.

Survey scams take various themes and use various lures. Popular examples in the past have falsely offered Facebook unlike buttons or various strains of ostensibly salacious or bizarre content (eg a supposed amateur grumble flick featuring Charlie Sheen).

Other lures have been based around upcoming video games: spam messages on Twitter this week related to the upcoming Portal 2 game lead onto either survey scams or supposed game cracks that probably come loaded with malware. The lures look to be auto-generated by bots and feature random content, some of which refers to cake. But, as GFI Software researcher Chris Boyd explains, "The cake is a lie". ®